Alaysha is a participant in YWCA St. Paul’s YW Stride, which supports young women of color who are transitioning from foster care by helping them secure stable housing and navigate relationships, resources and systems.
Alaysha’s mother had her at a very young age. In her early years, she had the opportunity to grow up with her mother’s siblings. But then at age 12, things got hard for Alaysha. She and her brother eventually moved in her with grandmother.
While she was able to provide stable housing for Alaysha and her brother, her grandmother was very sick. Alaysha ended up missing a lot of school because she was busy helping take care of her grandmother and fell behind. The lack of stability hit her hard and left her feeling incredibly overwhelmed in high school.
During those difficult years, Alaysha was introduced to YWCA St. Paul. “I had no idea that YWCA St. Paul, outside of the Health & Fitness Center, did so much for the community.”
In her darkest time, she held onto one clear goal – to become independent and live on her own. YW Stride helped make that dream a reality. She was able to rent a one-bedroom apartment. But, that is only the beginning.
“I think it’s accurate to say that the YW Stride program offered much more than just a roof over my head!” said Alaysha. “YW Stride offers so many opportunities that can help set you on a path to success. You learn you need a plan. That you must set goals. You learn accountability.”
Throughout her time in YW Stride, Alaysha took comfort in the fact that she had people in her corner to help guide her, encourage her and cheer for her.
Alaysha’s incomparable spirit and determination have helped her achieve goals she once thought impossible.
“YWCA St. Paul changed my life. I have so many doors open to me now.”